Atresia and Stenosis

What are atresia and stenosis?

Atresia and stenosis are birth defects in which the esophagus, stomach or intestines do not develop properly. The defects cause blockages in the digestive tract. An atresia leads to a complete blockage, while a stenosis causes a partial blockage.

Atresia and stenosis can occur alone, or a child may have them along with other birth defects. Symptoms like vomiting or feeding problems may begin soon after birth. The diagnosis is often made on prenatal ultrasound, but can also be made later in life with radiological testing, such as an X-ray. Treatment usually involves surgery.

At The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, children with atresia and stenosis are treated by gastroenterologists and surgeons from the Division of Gastroenterology (GI), Hepatology and Nutrition.

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